Come the fourth quarter of the big game, when the last bit of meat has been chewed off the chicken wings, the bowl of chips is dotted with just measly crumbs and nothing is left of the tray of sliders, only one thing remains: your sweet tooth. After a long afternoon of deliciously salty, savory snacking, it’s about time you dig into a game-day dessert to take off the sweet edge, right? Curb that craving at last by shifting the focus from hearty meats and cool dips to must-try baked treats and chilly ice cream sundaes with these must-try recipes from Food Network Kitchens, Alton, Paula and Giada.
Perhaps the ultimate game-day dessert, Food Network Kitchens’ Pull Apart Touchdown Cupcakes (pictured above) bring the football field to life with an edible landscape complete with end zones, a 50-yard line, a miniature football and rival players that is impressively realistic. To create, start with a batch of two dozen chocolate chip-studded cupcakes, then when they’ve cooled, get to work on setting the scene. If you’re baking with little ones, let them help you decorate these light, fluffy cupcakes with creamy peanut butter frosting, a blanket of grass-colored sprinkles, white-icing yard lines and colorful gummy “players.” You can get as creative as you’d like with the assembly, but remember, even if your final product looks more like an oblong hockey rink than a rectangular football field, this easy-to-eat dessert will still be satisfyingly sweet and a sure-fire win with your party guests.
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Pumpkin season is a short one so make the most of it with this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week: Pumpkin Pie Creme Brulee. Guy’s twist on the classic dessert includes grated nutmeg, cinnamon and ground ginger, which caramelize nicely on top once heated with a torch.
For more seasonal recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Get: Seasonal Menu board on Pinterest.
Get the recipe: Food Network Magazine‘s Pumpkin Pie Creme Brulee
On Sunday night, a day before Hurricane Sandy devastated much of the mid-Atlantic, my husband and I had some friends over for dinner. We went back and forth, debating whether it was a good idea to encourage people to come out in what we were told was going to be ever-worsening weather.
After a brief consultation with the weather oracles and our invite list, we pushed on with our little gathering. I made two pots of soup. Friends brought bread, cheese, meatballs and wine. We sat around our living room for hours, munching our way through nearly all the food and appreciating the feeling of being part of a community.
When all that was left were empty bowls, a few crumbs and a cheese rind or two, I brought out dessert. Often, when faced with the challenge of choosing a dessert to serve to guests, I flounder. I waffle between making some ridiculously complicated confection that ends up tasting good but looking terrible or I choke entirely and dash out for cookies and ice cream.
Before you start baking, read these tips
When you think of desserts, cookies, cakes, cupcakes and brownies usually come to mind first. But at Sandra Lee’s recent Sweet! event at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, the real star of the show was ice cream. Whether it was sandwiched between bites of doughnut, paired with a cupcake or eaten on its own, no two dishes were alike.
Diana Hardeman of MilkMade Ice Cream offered up scrumptious cranberry chocolate chip ice cream. Handcrafted with big hunks of both cranberry and chocolate, this homage to fall wasn’t your average pint.
Taking a more classic approach with an unexpected twist, Le Bernadin’s Chocolate Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream Sandwiches contained just the right kick of spice to bring out the subtle flavor of the chocolate sandwich base.
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With a silky-smooth center and buttery, crumbly crust, cheesecake is a go-to dessert that’s a perennial favorite and lends itself to so many flavors, mix-ins and toppings. Filled with classic and new flavors, our top five cheesecake recipes below are simple to prepare and range from cakes to cookies.
5. Honey Ricotta Cheesecake – Instead of a traditional crust, Giada uses a classic Italian cookie, the biscotti, as the base. A mixture of clover honey and orange zest sweetens the cake, adding sweet and flowery notes to the ricotta-cream cheese mixture.
4. Sour Cream Cheesecake – Made with tangy sour cream, this simple recipe (pictured above) is a top cheesecake pick. To cut a clean slice, Alton suggests placing your knife into a hot water bath and wiping it dry each time you make a pass through the cake.
Get the top three cheesecake recipes
The classic summer fruit crisp: Fruit is sprinkled with a streusel-like mixture of butter, sugar, flour and often oatmeal or nuts that have been rubbed together (or pulsed in a food processor). They boast a tender fruit center and are quick to prepare, like this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week: Ree Drummond’s Peach Crisp With Maple Cream Sauce. Ree adds a hint of maple syrup to her easy peach crisp for an unexpected flavor twist.
For more recipes that are sure to kick-start your morning off right, visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Recipe of the Day board on Pinterest.
Get the recipe: Peach Crisp With Maple Cream Sauce
I was classically trained at the Culinary Institute of America. The school prides itself on providing all its students the tools they need to succeed in the food industry. The most important tool I’ll pass along is “mise en place.” This is a French phrase used by chefs that translates to “everything in place.”
Baking 101 is, simply put, baking mise en place.
Baking can seem daunting to novices. I understand it seems very technical and can also be confusing. I will dispel many myths with these simple steps.
• Before buying any ingredients for a recipe, read the entire recipe from start to finish. Look closely at all the ingredients. If for example, a recipe calls for room-temperature butter and eggs, make sure you pull them out of the fridge far enough in advance (at least one hour).
• Preheating the oven is very important and should always be done before measuring out the ingredients.
Have a timer set and ready to go and more
I’m a bourbon girl, straight up. Neat or on the rocks, it doesn’t matter just as long as the vanilla, oak, caramel and spice notes work their magic. It’s pure craftsmanship at its best and only gets better with age.
But I’m also a pastry chef and one who loves to have fun exploring new flavor combinations. To limit a fine spirit to the bar alone would be criminal; at least, that’s what I think. Incorporating liquors into desserts reveals a whole new horizon of possibilities.
I love a good Manhattan. I also love the fact that bourbon works so well with chocolate, toasted nuts, peaches and even candied bacon. Two other spirits that round out my top three favorites when I bake are rum and Campari. Dark rum works well with tropical fruit and is a favorite of mine to use at our restaurant in Grand Cayman. Since there are so many great rums, taste a couple and use the one you like best. And Campari is a tad bitter, but it adds great balance to a dessert.
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My maternal grandmother, Della, wasn’t much of a cook. Forever dieting, she invested far more time into maintaining her dress size than she did perfecting her brisket recipe. However, when pressed into kitchen service, there were a few dishes that she could make tolerably well. She knew how to cook a pot of oatmeal so that it was thick and creamy, had long ago mastered the art of broiling a steak and made the best bread pudding around.
Bread pudding was a staple during Della’s childhood. After being orphaned, she and her siblings were raised by an aunt and uncle. The pressures of feeding three growing children meant that food had to be inexpensive and filling. Stale bread cooked in custard and sweetened with dried fruit checked both boxes and tasted good to boot.
Throughout her later years, bread pudding was the one thing that my grandmother just couldn’t resist. Any time my grandparents would eat out and it was on the menu, my grandfather would order it as his dessert. When it arrived, he’d nudge the dish my grandmother’s way. She’d insist that she was entirely satisfied with black coffee and then proceed to eat half the serving in small bites.
Before you start whisking your custard, read these tips
While St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday geared toward adults, I think it’s fun to make sure that what I make is also kid friendly.
This cake is a perfect compromise for adults and kids alike. Big people get a decadent piece of cake, while little people take part in a scavenger hunt.
What’s the best part about this cake? Wondering who will get the “lucky” piece or the piece with a four-leaf clover on it.
Learn how to make this simple cake